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Author Topic: Paranormal or a Delusion?  (Read 713 times)

Cypress

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Paranormal or a Delusion?
« on: August 18, 2020, 02:28:00 pm »
I'm incredibly unsure on the subject of this thread as it's a bit of a doozy.  I'm struggling with this concept and have been for several years and finally am seeking advice. 

Trigger Warning - manipulation, sexual assault, physical abuse.

Since my childhood I've been fascinated with the supernatural and paranormal.  It's shaped who I am today, however I feel as though that belief may have gotten me into a dangerous situation.  I've been with my husband for a decade and since the beginning, he's held firm that he's deeply connected to the demonic world.  Naturally, being a teen very interested in the paranormal, there were no doubts in my mind. 

** Before I continue I want to say that my husband is incredibly sweet, will do anything for me, and is nonviolent towards me on a normal basis.  While he is sometimes financially irresponsible, he has literally given me the shirt off his back and supports me in pretty much whatever adventure I want to partake.  He has his own interests and friends, I have mine, and we have some together.  He encourages me to pursue my passions and has opened his heart to my interests and protecting them (wildlife, the dangers of litter and how recycling and proper disposal is imperative (beach cleanup really opened his eyes), the importance of our natural world, etc). **

As the years went by, his claim of his connection never waivered – neither did my belief.  I witnessed first-hand incredibly unusual and often frightening incidents.  He would have episodes (unsure of what else to call them) where his voice would change, his eyes would change, and his personality would radically change.  During these episodes, there was often physical abuse (shoving, roughly grabbing), sexual abuse (a rape incident from years ago that has left me severely scarred), and mental abuse. 

It truly appeared as though there were 2 beings inside of his body – the ‘darker one(s)’ would claim that the ‘normal’ side was trapped and would be killed and his body would be utilized to wreak havoc on the world.  There would be struggles as though each side was literally fighting inside for dominance.  There would be physical signs of this struggle left behind – scratches and bruises, vomiting - sometimes blood.  Periodically when the darker side would appear, it would claim to be different beings (various names I don’t remember, except Belial).  I would be threated, made to believe that he would be killed, offer my safety in exchange for carrying demonic spawn, among other things. 

My husband says this started in childhood when he befriended someone who offered companionship and a solution to his problems.  Throughout his life he’s claimed he’s seen demons and other supernatural being inside of people or using their body as a skin.  He’s always said that he can have the power to ruin a lot of lives – all he has to do is say yes to their calls.  It seems he knows tons about every paranormal and supernatural creature out there – very specific things I’ve never heard of until I research it.  He knows of dark magickal practices (as well as lighter practices) and incredibly obscure things that, after research, seem to be true. 

I’ll be the first to admit that strange things always seem to happen.  For example, I’m 100% convinced one of my dogs had gotten possessed by something – he’s the gentlest soul and is a big teddy bear.  One night I heard my husband call my name from the other side of the house.  I walked down the hall and was blocked by my (large) dog who was standing in a very aggressive stance with a wild look in his eyes.  He never blinked as he stared me down and took a step towards me, teeth bared.  I immediately feared him.  I’ve never been fearful of a dog before, but I am very convinced this was not my dog looking at me.  I called for my husband, but he had been outside the entire time and never called my name.  I don’t exactly remember what happened next, but my big fuzzy doggo boy was back to being my cuddle bug shortly after.  Maybe there’s another logical reason for this, but this was in the middle of other weird things happening. 

Changes in the atmosphere of the room/house, looming figures, the episodes my husband had, locked (literally with extra precautions taken) animal cages opening when no one is home  setting predators and prey free, doors slamming open or closed in an empty room, things falling and breaking without explanation, etc.  He’s said a few times I’ve had demons inside me, but I’m unsure how to feel about these claims since I never questioned anything when it happened.  During these times I know my head would be in a dark place, I felt different, and I wasn’t completely in my right mind – often hearing voices urging me to do things - but is that demonic or mental?  (ps – I am currently medicated for anxiety)

His immediate family is aware of his demonic claims.  His father and brother think he’s a lunatic, but his mother believes him wholeheartedly and preaches Christianity to him, saying that Jesus will keep him safe.  His mother has seen the physical changes in him just as I have and has been attacked and had mental games played as well – often with claims that her son is dead, her God can’t save him, he’s evil, etc.  When I would reach out to her for help, she never questioned anything happening.  She would tell the voice speaking things like she knows and loves her son, the darkness can’t take him, he isn’t what they’re saying he is, that love and light will protect him, and some things relating to her beliefs and religion.  This is going to sound cliché, but it almost reminded me of the scene in The Exorcist where the priest(?) was arguing with the possessed little girl. 

This mostly slowed down for the last couple of years with small occurrences happening, but not nearly as frequently as before.   There has been no physical or sexual attacks.  Until recently.  A couple of days ago, I woke to the feeling of being watched (I had gone to bed several hours before him as I had work the next day).   I cracked open my eyes and once I saw he was in the room, I shut them, assuming he was just coming to bed like normal.  A minute or so later I heard him gasp and sat up to see him clutching his head backing away towards the door, sounding almost like he was about to cry.  He was freaking out and it took a while, but I finally got him to tell me what was wrong - he was watching TV across the house then came to in our bedroom and saw his hands reaching for my throat.  He did not sleep in bed with me that night, opting to sleep on the other side of the house, afraid of what had happened.  I didn't quite process what he said until I asked about it the next morning and was actually awake (I had drowsy medication in my system, which I'm super sensitive to, so I was barely conscious). 

Lately he’s felt what he almost describes as a calling.  He says he knows he’s going to be sucked into the darkness and they’ll take over.  He’s often having dreams of being helpless to save his friends or family until he hears voices offering him the power to save them.  He describes, to me, what sounds like what I envision as the antichrist taking over if he allows them inside.  He told me that if he sinks into it, he plans to put an end to his body so it won’t be able to be used.  He called his mother to warn of the same thing, to which she actually accepted without a fight…

I truly do not know what to believe. 

A part of me is saying there’s absolutely no way and he’s got to have a mental disorder.  A god complex of sorts.  A manipulative, narcissistic personality.  He refuses to speak to anyone else about this (no therapists or anything), claiming they’ll send him to the nut house. 

So here I am asking for guidance.  For anyone who’s worked with the supernatural, does any of this sound legitimate?  I feel as though my beliefs were preyed upon and I’ve been spun into a web of..well..crazy.  I 100% believe in the supernatural and paranormal, however, I’m unsure if any of what I’ve been led to believe as truth is real or has been a massive manipulative plot.

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Re: Paranormal or a Delusion?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 02:41:08 pm »

A part of me is saying there’s absolutely no way and he’s got to have a mental disorder.  A god complex of sorts.  A manipulative, narcissistic personality.  He refuses to speak to anyone else about this (no therapists or anything), claiming they’ll send him to the nut house. 


I'm unsure how to edit my post, but want to clarify here.  Previously he refused to seek professional help.  Last year he started seeing a licensed professional, though I'm unsure if any of these instances were directly brought up.  He has never been medicated nor has he been admitted or anything while seeing this psychiatrist.  This person has seemed to help him realize he needs to find his own happiness and not rely on others to provide it for him.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 02:42:46 pm by Cypress »

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Re: Paranormal or a Delusion?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 04:58:47 pm »

Trigger Warning - manipulation, sexual assault, physical abuse.

So here I am asking for guidance.  For anyone who’s worked with the supernatural, does any of this sound legitimate?  I feel as though my beliefs were preyed upon and I’ve been spun into a web of..well..crazy.  I 100% believe in the supernatural and paranormal, however, I’m unsure if any of what I’ve been led to believe as truth is real or has been a massive manipulative plot.
Sounds like he has a mental illness and is being manipulated and played a fool you need a doctor.
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Jenett

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Re: Paranormal or a Delusion?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 05:55:41 pm »
So here I am asking for guidance.  For anyone who’s worked with the supernatural, does any of this sound legitimate?  I feel as though my beliefs were preyed upon and I’ve been spun into a web of..well..crazy.  I 100% believe in the supernatural and paranormal, however, I’m unsure if any of what I’ve been led to believe as truth is real or has been a massive manipulative plot.

My take on this, honestly, is that on one level, it doesn't matter what the cause is. If someone is being abusive, violent, etc. then you need to take care of your personal safety, first and foremost, to the greatest degree possible. (And that's really  especially true when it's not at all clear what's triggering the dangerous acts and your concerns.) A scary percent of people whose abuse ends in lethal violence can be very pleasant to be around until that happens.

On a larger level, there's a couple of things to think about (note: I'm a librarian and witch, but not any kind of trained medical professional)

- If something like demonic possession exists, what is that theoretical being getting out of this? There is at least some strategic or tactical benefit, in a larger sense, of 'possess person with particular kind of power or influence' (pick your historical horror/fantasy genre story about possession here.)

But random guy in random place without any particularly (by which I mean 'at least regional-affecting level') power or skills? Only some of the time? Occam's razor suggests it's something else going on. If he went through full accurate evaluation for mental health concerns and that turned nothing up, then looking at possession might make more sense, but that hasn't happened.

- There are some theories that certain kinds of mental health issues can predispose people to possession or undue impact from negative spiritual forces. (And I've read a couple of stories that make me think that's true.) However, even if that's the case, treating the mental health issues to the degree possible and figuring out management strategies for continuing concerns is the starting point.

- It also raises the question of "has he ever attempted to resolve the spiritual concerns?" You say his mother has brought up Christianity - has your husband ever sincerely attended religious services in any religion? What was he like when he did? (i.e. how frequent were the episodes he has? More often? Less often?)

Has he ever tried a sincere religious or spiritual practice related to disconnecting from this being? What happened? (Does he even want to? Personally, I would not be sticking around with someone who didn't want to even without violence or abuse in the picture.) 

- And while we're at that, patterns in general might help. Due to the pandemic, lots of people have shifted patterns of sleep, food, exercise, social connection, etc. in all sorts of ways (some more subtle than others). If your husband had many fewer episodes for a while, what was his life like before that? What things have changed (in a pragmatic physical-reality way), and could focusing on those reduce episodes again? Even things like a relatively minor vitamin deficiency can play a big role sometimes.

- While he's not being fully forthright with the therapist/etc. he's seeing, there's going to be a limit of what that person can do to help. They just don't have a complete picture, and that can make a huge difference in what options are explored for treatment, management, etc. Obviously, there's a limit on what you can do about that without his participation, but it is sometimes an option to talk to his therapist, say "I know you can't talk to me about his sessions, but I have information he hasn't shared that is important for his treatment."

(Making the choice whether to do that is complicated, and I think beyond the scope of what this forum can help with usefully, but it might be helpful for you to talk to someone confidentially. Mental health hotlines can probably help with this anonymously, at least as far as figuring out what your viable options are.)

- Things I don't think are hugely relevant here: his knowledge of esoteric/occult stuff (people absorb stuff in all sorts of weird ways) or the dog (who may be responding to changes in your husband, but that have nothing to do with possession.) However, a big dog reacting out of fear or challenge is also a risk to you, and you should think about that when you're considering your safety, too.

For your own concerns, that'd be a great thing for you to discuss with an appropriate mental health specialist. When I've talked to friends who are therapists and also priests/esses who believe the gods can speak to us and through us, one of the things they talk about is that looking at what is said, and what those voices urge is a key factor. Basically, are they causing things that could lead to harm (to that person or others), or are they pretty neutral? How disruptive are they to someone's life? (Even the most pleasant and well-meaning voices are a problem if that means you can't work or function day-to-day.)

And as a board-related note: we have a limit on how long you can edit posts - it's enough to do a quick format edit, or go "oops, forgot half a sentence or a word" but anything else you should do what you did, namely quote a small bit of your post, add the new info, and go on.
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ehbowen

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Re: Paranormal or a Delusion?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 06:23:42 am »
So here I am asking for guidance.  For anyone who’s worked with the supernatural, does any of this sound legitimate?  I feel as though my beliefs were preyed upon and I’ve been spun into a web of..well..crazy.  I 100% believe in the supernatural and paranormal, however, I’m unsure if any of what I’ve been led to believe as truth is real or has been a massive manipulative plot.

As a Christian, I find the possibility of demonic involvement believable. As someone who has been through the mental health treatment process, I also find the possibility of mental/physical illness believable.

At least in my own mind, it's not a this or that choice. It's much more likely both/and. It could be that the underlying foundational cause is spiritual/demonic, but as we are physical creatures there almost certainly is a physical "link" in there somewhere and it is possible that proper treatment can help to block that link. On the other hand, it's possible that the foundational cause is physical/mental but that this has opened a "gap" which permits a malevolent entity to "wedge in" and make matters even worse.

Jenett wondered what such an entity might have to gain. I can't speak on this with authority, but at least from Scriptural accounts it appears that simply the opportunity to get closer to the physical world by using a vulnerable human as a vessel is in and of itself a sufficient attraction to at least some entities; Luke 11:24-26. The policy of this board prohibits proselytizing, so I will merely suggest that you investigate Christian resources for dealing with spiritual attack. This may be difficult because a number of my fellow believers either do not take the reality of the supernatural seriously or else are the kind who see a demon behind every bush. I personally am a very conservative, verging on Fundamentalist, believer who is currently a member of a Southern Baptist church. While I'm not going to give you anything more specific than that in this venue I will offer to pray for you and your husband if you so wish. (And your dog, too!)

As far as professional medical help goes I do echo Jenett's concern that no doctor is likely to be able to help if he or she does not have the full story. I would also tend to think that any doctor who denies the reality of the supernatural is likely to fail to grasp the true picture...but good luck finding one who does not. Still, as I said above even if the root cause is supernatural there still has to be a physical link somewhere in the process, and medical treatment may help in blocking it.

Finally, if you are in an abusive or potentially abusive situation, my advice to you is: GET OUT. I'm not advocating divorce; I've "had it out" with others on this forum regarding that in the past. But if you are in danger then immediate separation, whether formal or informal, is in order and the sooner the better. With a safe distance between you and the man whom you (with reason) love, you will be in a better position to consider ways in which you can help.

May you have wisdom and grace to work through this situation. If I may, allow me to add, 'God bless.'
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Aveya

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Re: Paranormal or a Delusion?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2020, 04:42:57 pm »
Lately he’s felt what he almost describes as a calling.  He says he knows he’s going to be sucked into the darkness and they’ll take over.  He’s often having dreams of being helpless to save his friends or family until he hears voices offering him the power to save them.  He describes, to me, what sounds like what I envision as the antichrist taking over if he allows them inside.  He told me that if he sinks into it, he plans to put an end to his body so it won’t be able to be used.  He called his mother to warn of the same thing, to which she actually accepted without a fight…

I admit I have no personal knowledge with possession, and am not a medical professional. I just have some extensive mental health issues in my immediate family that have caused me to view events differently?

I tend to ramble so here's my main reason for answering: I have a family member in a hard spot with a mental illness (Borderline personality, most likely. She's unable to get a proper diagnosis at the moment because of COVID restrictions) and we often have trouble reaching her emotionally, mentally. A method to getting through to her is to talk in her "language" so to speak. We avoid words that have large negative meaning for her and instead use phrases or concepts she's comfortable with to help lead her down paths that she can agree with & understand (It's not as obvious as avoiding trigger words either, it's a whole mentality shift imo). I mentally picture this as a path winding through dense fog in her mind, but we outsiders see everything clearly and often try to preach the end before she's sure of her next footfall. So we can help guide her through the insecurities in everyday life by choosing more compassionate phrases, concepts, and avoiding cliche phrases that cause harm. (Borderline is a frustrating one, and opposite my instincts. So there is a lot of intentional action from me for the first time. So this is why I'm drawing this forward right now).

So - With your husband, a way through the path is to highlight if he wants to be strong enough to overcome, sealing up any mental/emotional gaps with a trained professional should be his first line of defense. Both Jennett & ehbowen mention this as well. And in order to do that, he would need to be more upfront with his therapist about why of course. He has to be on board or it will be no good. I do fear if you were to tell the therapist (and your husband unaware) about some of the details, if the therapist were to bring it up somehow in session it could cause your husband fear/paranoia. But getting advice from professionals anonymously could help walk you through the best/safest ways to handle that.

My biggest concern is your safety. I echo the others in this thread saying that danger from ANY source is serious and needs to be tackled. Especially since you mentioned briefly a previous dark event - so now a pattern could be seen emerging. And I quoted the above specifically because I'm also concerned for his safety. It's a hidden suicide threat (not his intent but the result could be the same) and that's horribly serious.

Ultimately I echo ehbowen:
my advice to you is: GET OUT. I'm not advocating divorce;  {} if you are in danger then immediate separation, whether formal or informal, is in order and the sooner the better. With a safe distance between you and the man whom you (with reason) love, you will be in a better position to consider ways in which you can help.

I know this is much easier said than done, but any amount of harm or danger is unacceptable. No matter the reason why. This is the airplane oxygen-mask scenario. If you want to help him you MUST put your mask on first to be in any position to help. Otherwise, you may have just put an oxygen-mask on a demon or someone with an illness and you're passed out because they're unable to help you back. Super.

I say this last bit knowing I might be overstepping, projecting, crossing a line? I mean absolutely no offense, but only to highlight the severity I personally sense in this. If I were in your husband's shoes, I would have myself voluntarily committed to a health facility with a psychiatric advance directive (naming my significant other as the authority) for your safety, my own, my dog, my mom, my whole circle of connections. If I believed I was possessed, I would still do the same and figure out how to get myself free / stronger, while making sure my loved ones were safe.

I do wish you and your husband the best. This sounds terribly frightening for everyone involved and I hope you can together alleviate it and come out stronger.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 04:46:57 pm by Aveya »

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